When you get right down to it, a disc duplicator is any device that can copy optical discs. While a home computer has the ability to copy discs, this is not its primary function. For this section, we are going to focus on machines whose primary purpose is copying optical media discs in large quantities.
The basic components of a disc duplicator are a reader (source) drive for the master disc, burner (target) drives for recording the information, and in the case of automated equipment, a robotic arm for loading and unloading discs.
There are several different types of disc duplicators available on the market today, each with their respective strengths and weaknesses. Some duplicators work as standalone machines while others require a computer connection to operate.
Many of the newer models do a whole lot more than just read and write data. They may also feature integrated disc printers, multiple burner drives, and advanced control panels on the machines themselves. Some machines even feature built-in hard disk drives for storing copies of master discs for future use.
A duplicator with a built-in printer is also called a disc publisher. Standalone duplicators (or tower duplicators) are upright machines that are entirely stand-alone units. A network duplicator can be connected to a LAN and accessed by multiple users, while a rackmount duplicator comes in a special case designed for mounting in an equipment rack.
The CD-Information Center believes that choosing the correct duplication hardware for your needs is one of the most important decisions to make because it directly affects the results of your project. That's why we have compiled a detailed Buyer's Guide to automated disc duplicators and publishers with all of the major manufacturers represented.
Below you will find an explanation of the different types of duplicators available as well as their benefits and features.
- Automated Duplicators
- Automated Publishers (Duplicator/Printer Combos)
- Tower Duplicators
- Network Publishers
- Rackmount Duplicators
- Disc Duplicator Buyer's Guide
- How To Build a DIY CD/DVD Duplicator